But friends are today mourning the death of Frank Baugh, who has died aged 98, a member of The Normandy Veterans Sheffield and District.
The organisation’s Facebook page announced his death this week.
Frank was one of the last remaining veterans of the D-Day landings, which signalled the start of the Allies’ invasion of western Europe in June 1944, and was a crucial turning point in World War Two.
He went on to speak in front of Prince Charles in 2019, during events to mark the 75th anniversary of the landings.
Frank left his colliery job in 1942 to join the Royal Navy as a signalman,
He was sent to American to train how to operate the landing craft that was used to transport troops to the D-Day beaches.
He took the vessel onto Sword Beach, carrying troops ashore for the invasion.
Speaking in 2019, Frank, from Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, said: “We were being machine gunned and shelled from all over the place.” One found its target and holed the ship - causing devastating injuries and damage.
He added: “A lot of lads were seriously injured, it was the first time I had seen shrapnel wounds. It was horrific. The sea was red and we could see bodies floating in the water. I had never seen anything like it.”
He did not speak about what he had seen until 2010, when he made the decision to return to those French beaches once more - and he became a regular at memorial events, including being among the dwindling band of survivors who marked the 75th anniversary.
He said: “Going back is always very emotional. I see the beaches and you see children paddling in the water and it makes me think of when the sea was red with blood, or people sunbathing in front of the armaments that are still there. In my mind I go back to D-Day and the things I saw - they will always be with me and it is important that we never forget them.”